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Reports -can I refuse to do anymore?

(19 Posts)
JennyBlueWren Sun 25-Feb-18 09:45:14

I know I won't but feeling so fed up!

I spent ages writing the reports and now spending the whole weekend rewriting them. I know I won't finish them to hand in again on Monday but they're meant to be going out to parents on Friday. I'm going on maternity leave in a few weeks so my reports and parents' evenings have been brought forward.

I've been teaching for 10 years and beyond a few errors never had to do so much rewriting of reports. I started at a new school last year so should have known what to expect this year as I had to redo mine several times last year.

She wants me to give more detail and talk about more areas in each box but the text has to fit the box and be the correct size. I can't even see how to do it.

I don't even agree with lots of the things she wants me to change and resent giving up another weekend to them especially as my 3 year old is getting fed up of "mummy doing school work" all the time and not being able to play with him.

Wish I had the strength to just refuse to redo them beyond SPaG errors.

bunbunny Sun 25-Feb-18 10:14:29

Can you ask her to write one for you with the right amount of detail at the right size while remaining factually correct so that you have a template of what she expects and you don't have to waste precious free time that you have already got plans for... Choose a challenging one rather than an easy one obviously, that is going to be one of the longest going on previous feedback.

And then pick her up when it's too long and/or wrong or she changed the font size, explaining that if you gave her that report she would reject it because of [reasons].

Is the person rejecting them doing so because she is a control freak, is she genuinely improving them, someone who always knows best, or trying to put you in your place? Or is there any merit in her comments? (ignoring the fact that feedback that's twice as long has a good chance of being better but if it exceeds the space available it doesn't count!)

Does everyone else suffer like this or are you being picked on thanks to being new and/or going on maternity leave?

MsJaneAusten Sun 25-Feb-18 10:25:42

You've written them, right? They're accurate and on time? Then I'd just leave it at that. What can 'she' (your head?) actually do about it? Presumably you're not on Capability so your job isn't under threat and you're off on maternity soon so she's going to be off your back anyway.

Maybe send her a quick email saying "I've taken another look at the reports and I'm happy that they're accurate so I'm going to leave them as they are. Over the next few weeks I'll be concentrating on ensuring my class makes the best progress and that my hand over notes are up to date. I trust you'll agree this is the most appropriate course of action within the time scale."

(Disclaimer: I'm guessing you're in primary, but I'm secondary and have never heard of anyone being asked to rewrite a report so my advice might be wrong)

Good luck. She sounds like a night mare flowers

Wellthen Sun 25-Feb-18 10:31:55

Your reports have been moved forward? That’s ridiculous, if you’re off when reports are due then that’s that. Unless you went on maternity a week or 2 before writing them then I really think that’s out of order.

I would be enquiringly as to what will happen when you come back - will you be writing reports at their normal time or will your cover write them early as you have done?

Piggywaspushed Sun 25-Feb-18 10:34:29

Who is 'she'?

Piggywaspushed Sun 25-Feb-18 10:36:01

And wellthen is spot on. You should have gone to your union by now...

donquixotedelamancha Sun 25-Feb-18 10:44:04

Our schools does stuff like this. I just say no.

I tried the professional approach of asking for more details and suggesting improvements to systems, but they seem wedded to chaos as a management strategy.

So now I say: nope, if you want it doing a specific way, you need to issue specific guidance. I make sure I've asked ahead of time (in writing) where they've been unclear, but I don't redo work unless the mistake is mine.

Of course if you do this, you will not be promoted at that school, but being a manager somewhere like this is even worse.

I'm going on maternity leave in a few weeks so my reports and parents' evenings have been brought forward.

This is ridiculous. You are doing them a huge favour with this.

JennyBlueWren Sun 25-Feb-18 11:17:34

Sorry I re-edited my post and ended up not mentioning that "she" is my Head and line manager and yes I am Primary. Thank you for the advice and kind words.

I think I'll do what I can without over-stressing myself now and after that make it clear that unless she can give me time out I can't do anymore. I should have been spending this weekend's school work time getting all the planning and tracking data sorted for whoever is to take over (still no teacher found to replace me unsurprisingly). I also ought to be sorting out baby stuff too (although I think DH has started on that).

I think I'm being picked on more because I'm putting mine in a week earlier than the rest of the school. Theirs should be in on Monday so she might be too busy with that to criticize mine again and she might realise that mine are comparable. I've passed on as much feedback to the other teachers though so they can preempt her.

She is a known control freak (DH gets very frustrated when I come home upset over some new rule she's thought up) and I was warned before taking the job but wanted a shorter commute. I've regretted the move ever since. I was valued at my previous school and when I made an effort to have the basics of my reports done before going on maternity leave I was praised for being so helpful!

Never had to do more than correct an odd error before. The only time I had to redo all my reports was in my first year when I'd used a dodgy printer (all the other teachers knew to avoid) and they had printed squint! The head then apologised for the fact I'd have to reprint them.

Piggywaspushed Sun 25-Feb-18 11:22:41

Talking of secondary we 'streamlined' our year 9 reports last year by having instead effort grades for five different areas and the 'up to' three targets. It took longer than writing a sodding report.

Last year, the guy in charge of data (so not even vaguely my line manager!) contacted me to point out I had 'only' given two targets for some students. 'Quite right , I said. there are two things they need to focus on'. I enquired whether everyone was being told to wrote three targets. He said, no : ' but we expect it for core subjects'.

I wondered who ' we' was and then politely declined.

I haven't been asked this year to write three targets per student so I must have scared him off. it helps that he was in my form class when he was 13

JennyBlueWren Sun 25-Feb-18 11:30:45

Some years ago when I was suffering with writing really long reports (half an A4 for each subject area -10 of these in total -decided by LA and opposed to by our school who encouraged us to cut and paste and bullet point!) my dad shared his grandad's report from the 19th Century. It consisted of ticks to say "excellent, good etc" by each subject and then a space for the teacher to write a sentence and the head to write a sentence. Very brief!

youarenotkiddingme Sun 25-Feb-18 11:41:32

I don't agree with long reports either. Nor the cut and paste jobs!

For some parents the more you write - the more they have to argue about wink

And I'm not a teacher!

I like reports that say simply that ds is working hard (hopefully grin) , where about compared to expected and what he can improve on. A simple 3/4 lines per subject whether its primary or secondary.

I also really value the tick box of achievement and effort that's standard throughout school and is explained exactly what it means when you get their first report. I can work out for myself if he's doing well, progress and achievement from this information.

I've always hoped if there's an issue with a subject I'd be told long before the mid/end of year report and also will have had a parents evening so a long narrative is pretty useless.

Piggywaspushed Sun 25-Feb-18 11:49:22

jenny it's not just in the 19th century that reports were like that! That sounds like mine from the 80s!

Piggywaspushed Sun 25-Feb-18 11:52:18

Does 'she' have to write any reports of her own? I find our SLT (if they ever bother to look since they decided it was too time consuming for them...) quibble because they are writing very very few themselves.

When my DCs were primary the only sign the head had looked at reports was a comment like 'Good Boy , Beelezebub!'

BobbinThreadbare123 Sun 25-Feb-18 18:19:34

When I taught we shared the reports out amongst the staff for proof reading. I had mine returned with some of the 'there' changed to 'their' and vice versa, and all of the semi colons highlighted for removal. This was from someone in our English department. I just binned them and left them as I had done them. Nobody checked. Some SLT members like to dream up bullshit little tasks for the plebs to do. This is partly the reason why I don't teach any longer. OP, this is the time to relax and prepare yourself for the arrival of your little one. Some hoops can just be ignored rather than jumped through. Your headteacher is a dick.

greathat Sun 25-Feb-18 18:46:48

Go off with dress for last two weeks? They are done, stop pandering and wasting your life

JennyBlueWren Sun 25-Feb-18 19:23:12

I'm tempted greathat. Although I know I shouldn't part of me is hoping that at my scan this week they say I'll have to bring baby forward (has been measuring far too big).

I've managed to do full rewrites of 6 of them (out of 24) and just made some changes to the rest as I realised I just wasn't going to have time. I think I'll point out that the options are that they go as they are, they don't go at all or that she gives me time out to do them.

greathat Sun 25-Feb-18 20:31:52

Although if you do go I think it might bring your maternity leave date earlier so check

TuftedLadyGrotto Sun 25-Feb-18 20:34:42

They can only bring your maternity leave forward for pregnancy related illness in the last 4 weeks. If you are off with stress or tonsillitis or something unrelated to your pregnancy they can't.

You shouldn't be doing reports early. I work for a union and this is common. Just say no.

Phineyj Tue 27-Feb-18 20:51:23

I have never heard of being asked to do reports and parents' evenings early due to maternity leave. These things get done by whoever is covering the job on the date they are due, in my experience. If they get done less well, well then that's not your issue. I have occasionally done things that I knew would save the new person a lot of trouble (such as the data for an exams analysis) but only to be helpful, not because anyone asked.

Mind you, I have an even worse story from outside education. My DSis was leaving a job as a magazine editor. They basically expected her to write the next issue (the one that wouldn't have been started even at the time she was leaving) before she left. Unsurprisingly, she refused!

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